Brake is the latest organisation to call on the Government and local authorities to work towards 20mph limits being the norm in built-up areas. The charity says this will “help deliver a post-2012 legacy of active, healthy communities”.
Last week, in the national press, it was widely reported that 20mph limits are ‘not working’ on the basis that casualties on roads with 20mph limits increased during 2010-11. But a number of organisations, including Brake, have pointed out that the increase is not surprising given that there are now many more roads with 20mph limits.
Brake cites a number of academic studies which is says demonstrate the safety benefits of lower speed limits in communities, especially for vulnerable road users. The charity also highlights surveys in which people say they would walk or cycle more if it was safer, and support the introduction of 20mph limits in residential areas.
Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive of Brake, says: “20mph is a more appropriate limit for built up areas because it gives drivers far more chance to react in an emergency and avoid hitting someone. At 30mph, your stopping distance is nearly six car lengths, compared to three at 20mph.
“There is a huge amount of enthusiasm at the moment for enabling people to live healthy, active lifestyles as a post-2012 legacy. We know that fast traffic is a major barrier to this: many children, families and adults are prevented from walking, cycling and getting out and about because of the dangers.
“20mph limits are evidenced to make walking and cycling safer, deliver a host of benefits to communities, and they are widely supported. That’s why more and more local authorities are implementing them on a widespread basis, and that’s why we want the Government to enable and support more authorities to make this positive step.”
For more information contact David Hebblethwaite on 01484 559909.